An ongoing series of events dedicated to enhancing grass-fed livestock production
SFA is dedicated to improving education and awareness of the benefits of pasture techniques within our farmer-to-farmer network. We do that in a variety of ways:
- We launched our new Midwest Soil Health Summit to address the growing evidence that cover cropping and livestock integration principles can be both profitable and scalable.
- We hold grazing-based education at our SFA Annual Conference, including the Advanced Grazing Workshop in 2013 that paved the way for the Midwest Soil Health Summit.
- Our new Keep Cattle in Minnesota project, in conjunction with NRCS, will work to sustain Minnesota’s beef and dairy industries and environment.
- SFA was the lead sponsor for the Grazing Lands Conservation Association’s annual Videoconference, held at locations around Minnesota Dec. 5, 2013.
- Our yearly farm-and-food session at the Mill City Farmers Market spreads information about grass-based farming and grassfed meat preparation to a consumer audience.
- We work with the Minnesota Dairy Initiative to enhance and improve sustainable dairy production in Minnesota
For questions regarding our GrazeFest series, contact SFA Livestock and Grazing Specialist Kent Solberg at 218.445.7580 or sevenpinesfarm andfence@ gmail.com.
SFA Hosting Two Events With Cattle Breeding Expert Gearld Fry
As part of our ongoing Keep Cattle in Minnesota project and GrazeFest series of grass-based livestock events, SFA is proud to announce two farmer networking and educational events with cattle-breeding expert Gearld Fry.
The events will take place Aug. 14 in Morris and Aug. 15 near Wadena. Registration will be required and lunch will be included; look for a registration link and cost information here or in an upcoming edition of SFA Connect.
The Morris event will begin with Gearld leading a beef genetics discussion at the West Central Research and Outreach Center. Next, the group will caravan to the Mark Erickson farm, where Gearld will lead a hands-on session on how to pick breeding stock for grassed beef.
The Wadena day will begin with a discussion with Gearld on dairy genetics for grass-based dairy operations, followed by a caravan to Midd-Minn Dairy, where Gearld will lead a hands-on session on picking dairy animals for grass-based dairies.
Fry has decades of experience around the world in selecting and breeding cattle that will perform on a 100 percent forage diet. He is the founder of Bovine Engineering & Consulting and the American Herbataurus Society, and his wisdom and understanding in the field is greatly valued.
SFA Hosting Midwest Soil Health Summit Feb. 18-19, 2015, in Alexandria, Minn.
SFA’s second annual Midwest Soil Health Summit, will be held Feb. 18-19, 2015, at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. The Summit will convene some of the most innovative farmers and researchers in the Upper Midwest for two days of networking, speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions – all geared at improving the health of your soil.
The keynote speaker will be Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch in Burleigh County, N.D. Brown is a pioneer in diverse cover cropping, having used no-till techniques for two decades.
There will be presentations geared toward both soil health beginners and experts, including multiple sessions by Brown. The discussion tables with the experts will return, too, and even more farmer-to-farmer networking time will be included.
More news to come.
New research finds organic milk healthier than conventional
A new study evaluating organic milk produced in the U.S. finds that organic milk has about 62 percent more omega-3s, compared to milk produced by cows on conventional dairy farms. Read the story here.
Click here to download SFA’s new Cover Crop Fact Sheet, a one-page guide to the basics of cover cropping by SFA Livestock and Grazing Coordinator Kent Solberg. Learn the basics of cover cropping, view examples of major crop types, and find Kent’s recommended resources.
Minnesota Dairy Initiative is here to help
The Minnesota Dairy Initiative is a program that promotes a healthy and vibrant dairy industry in Minnesota. SFA is a project partner with MDI; to learn more, click here.
For more information on grazing, visit the following sites:
- Animal Welfare Approved
- American Grassfed
- Burleigh County Soil and Conservation District
- Eating Fresh
- Eat Wild
- Grassfed Exchange
- Pasture Project
- Practical Farmers of Iowa
- Click this link for American Grassfed’s A Meat Terminology Primer for Consumers.
- Click this link for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Grazing Cover Crops Fact Sheet (2013)
Contacts for Sustainable Farming Association:
Kent Solberg, Livestock & Grazing Specialist
18618 Co. Rd.23
Verndale, MN 56481
Jason Walker, Communications Coordinator
4924 Upton Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Shifting the focus of agriculture from maximum yields to maximum soil health quality is critical to the sustainability of agriculture in Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, the United States and globally. SFA is committed to continued soil health programming, including programs addressing the integration of cover crops, row crops and livestock grazing. We will continue the pursuit of funding and programs that foster the development of soil health building practices for the long term.